What is it?
The Porsche 911 Targa 4S Heritage Edition isn’t so much a limited-run model as a 911 trivia quiz rendered in metal. It’s replete with brilliantly conceived design details and flourishes that, while individually subtle, add up to a very conspicuous whole.
The first of four planned special editions from Porsche Exclusive, the firm’s bespoke division, celebrating the sport car’s history, it’s focused on the 1950s and 1960s, through homages to the 356 predecessor and first-generation 911.
Porsche buffs will revel in trying to spot every reference, such as the Cherry Red paint, gold trim logos, the original Porsche font, the 1963-era badge, beige interior trim, black brake calipers and a special badge for the rear lid. Even the production run of 992 units is intended to cause knowing nods from those who know their 911s.
But underneath the custom design features, the Heritage Edition is mechanically identical to a standard Targa 4S: a 3.0-litre twin-turbo flat six delivering 444bhp and 391lb ft, four-wheel drive as standard and Porsche’s eight-speed PDK automatic gearbox. It’s also fitted with Active Suspension Management, Porsche’s Traction Management and Torque Vectoring Plus systems and the Sport Chrono package.
According to Porsche Exclusive director Boris Apenbrink, basing the first Heritage Edition model on the 4S version of the Targa rather than the Coupé or Cabriolet is because the folding top version is “the most emotional derivative in the 911 range”.
That’s perhaps another subtle, knowing nod to another long-held 911 convention: that the Targa is the 911 of choice for those whose prioritise style over outright driving dynamics, due to the inherent dynamic compromises in replacing a section of roof with a folding Targa top. Which is what we're here to find out.